Billy Goddard once met a man and helped change his life. The man&mdas;who drove from western Tennessee to a Mission of Mercy (MOM) event in Virginia—had lost his job and, with several decaying and missing teeth, knew his prospects for getting a job interview were slim.
When he left that event, he had a complete denture in place and felt like a brand-new man. "The change was immediately obvious. He was totally confident he could go out and find employment and take care of his family," says Goddard.
It's patients like this that keep Goddard going back to volunteer at MOM events in Wise County, VA and other rural locations. Sponsored by the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and the Virginia Health Department, MOM holds free weekend dental clinics in underserved areas.
To participate, Goddard closes down the removable department at East Tennessee Dental Restorations so he and several staff members—including his father, Laboratory Owner Royce Peters, CDT, and his brother, Austin Peters—can set up a make-shift denture laboratory at the site. Over the last four years, Goddard has helped provide hundreds of prostheses to indigent patients.
Giving something back to the industry is important to him since he feels so fortunate for the opportunities he's had over the last decade. A third-generation technician whose goal has always been to join his father's lab, he now has a business degree in hand, runs the lab's denture department, supports dentist-clients chairside on implant overdenture cases, and has lectured for Heraeus Kulzer and Rhein 83. "I've been so blessed and the future of our industry is bright. There's so much more to look forward to," says Goddard.